Crockpot Homemade Yogurt

My kids love yogurt. They eat plain yogurt every morning for breakfast.

My 3 year old prefers his with applesauce and my 1 year old likes hers best with mashed up banana. Sometimes yogurt is the special treat I give my 3 year old after he finishes eating all his lunch.

We go through approximately 2 of the large yogurt containers a week and so it certainly is a crucial part of our grocery budget.

I heard about making homemade yogurt over a year ago and filed the idea away to try someday. In the last year, we moved from Chicago to a small town in Oklahoma and, to our surprise, we found that most groceries cost 30-50% more here.

However, being pregnant, having just made a cross-country move and with 2 little ones, I held off on trying my hand at yogurt.

After a number of months and I’d settled into a pretty good routine, the time had come to make yogurt and help alleviate our rising grocery costs.

My first attempt tasted like yogurt but came out really thin and runny. The kids ate it, but boy, was it messy. So I started researching ways to thicken it and settled on trying gelatin.

The gelatin worked its wonders and so, without further ado, here is my yogurt recipe:

Ingredients:

8 cups whole milk

8 oz plain yogurt (as a starter)

1 package (2 teaspoons) Knox powered gelatin

Directions:

1. Take yogurt starter out of fridge to start warming up

2. Turn crockpot on low to warm up

3. Pour 8 cups milk into saucepan and stir occasionally until it reaches 185 degrees (Fill sink half full with cold water while milk is warming up)

4. Once milk has reached 185 degrees, remove from heat, add powdered gelatin a little at a time, whisk in completely before adding more. Continue until all the gelatin has been dissolved.

5. Remove 1 cup of heated milk and set aside.

6. Put lid on saucepan with remaining milk and place in sink of cold water (make sure the water level is not too high, as you don’t want water getting into the pan) for 10 minutes or until you can somewhat comfortably briefly stick your pinky finger in.  (After making this several times, I just time it for 10 minutes and no longer bother checking the temperature with my finger.)

7. Take the 1 cup of heated milk you earlier set aside and mix in your yogurt starter completely.

8. Take the pan of milk out of the sink and pour into crockpot. Add in the 1 cup of milk and yogurt starter mix.

9. Put lid on crockpot, turn off and unplug. Wrap entire crockpot in heavy towel overnight or for 6-10 hours.

10. Place crockpot in fridge and wait another 6-10 hours for it to finish setting completely.

The finished product

 

Yields: Approximately 70 ounces (will stay good for up to 14 days)

A week's worth of yogurt in our house

 

It may sound like a lot of work but it only takes about a half hour each batch and 10 minutes of that time is when the milk is cooling in the sink.

Note: Set aside 8 ounces as a starter to use for your next batch right away (to make sure you don’t eat it all)

Wondering if it really saves us money? Two large containers of yogurt costs me $4+ tax at Aldi or $5+ tax at Walmart, assuming you buy the store brand.

1 gallon of milk costs me $3.20, so 8 cups is $1.60. The yogurt starter cost me $1.07 and the package of gelatin cost $0.94. The total is $3.61.

If you eliminate the $1.07 for the yogurt starter, the costs come down to $2.54.

Definitely a significant savings over buying yogurt each week. Not only is it cheaper, but it is nice knowing exactly what I’m feeding my kids.

 


 

 

 

 

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